Metrolinx and the McGuinty Government Stealing Our Air! How Cohaagen of Them!

by - October 08, 2009

There was a proposal a while back by Metrolinx that 400 diesel trains would be run daily through the neighborhoods of Parkdale and the Junction, and onwards towards Brampton.  That is a 700% increase as opposed to the amount of train runs through these neighborhoods today.  This proposal has been approved.

So what does this mean for those of us who live in these areas?  Beyond the obvious increase in noise pollution, we can look forward to poorer air quality and more health issues related to carcinogens that will be expelled into the air from the diesel fuel.  Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's chief medical officer of health, has stated that he is worried about the impact this could have on surrounding resident's health (CBC News).  According to the linked article, "Diesel exhaust has been identified as a probable human carcinogen by several agencies, including the International agency for Research on Cancer". 

When I visited Metrolinx website and read their mission statement, this is what they had to say: "To champion, develop and implement an integrated transportation system for our region that enhances prosperity, sustainability and quality of life". 

Quality of life does not include breathing in horrible, stinky air all day.  Of course Metrolinx has stated that they do not believe that the increased train runs will affect the residents of the area.  They are also stating that electric trains are too expensive to implement immediately, but that down the road it could be an option.  To me that says that not only will my tax dollars go towards building the expansion that the diesel trains will run on, but then again 2 or 3 or 5 or 10 years down the road my tax dollars will have to go towards rebuilding the whole system to accommodate an elctric line?  Why not spend the money now and at least try to get out of pissing off a ton of Torontonians who pay your salary?  How blase!

In this case, where people with respiratory conditions (such as myself) are concerned, the neigborhood that I love will not be a very comfortable place to reside in once this action takes place in 2015.  If, and I say IF because I am willing to wait it out and do my own hands on research as to how bad the air quality gets on those muggy days of summer, if the air gets too horrible, I will not be able to live there anymore.  I will be gently forced out of own home because Metrolinx and the McGuinty government, who backs them on this, are too cheap to implement a system that the people want, and that will make sense not only now, but in the future. 

The attitude with these agencies is to slap a band-aid over it for now and cross their fingers that it wont come back to bite them in the butts later.

I hope that it does. And when it does, I will laugh and point my finger.  And cough.

Update: Check out this link if you want to read Steve Munro's view on the situation.  He brings up some very good points!

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